PALMA SOME 57 percent of the Balearic population read books, which just exceeds the national average of 56.9 percent, according to the Barometer of Reading Habits and Book Buying 2007.

Madrid is the region which has the most book readers, some 65 percent, while another five regions also exceed the national average. These are: Catalonia, the Canary Islands, Asturias, Aragon and the Basque region.

Cantabria and Navarra equal the national average and the other eight regions, Extremadura, La Rioja, Valencia, Murcia, Castilla and Leon, Andalucia, Castilla La Mancha and Galicia, are below the national average.

According to the barometer, the Spanish are little by little entering the world of book reading, although they have a long way to go to equal the European average. The figures indicate that the number of people reading books increased by 1.5 percentage points in 2007, in comparison with 2006.

For another year, more women than men of all ages were reading books.
According to the study, the profile of the person who reads books continues to be a woman, young and with a university education, who chooses novels in Spanish and reads, mainly, at home.

Encouragingly, young people (between 14 and 24) head the book reading figures, with 73.3 percent, followed by people between 25 and 34 with 65.4 percent.